Fr. José Ramón Mendoza, age 44, was shot dead in Lara, Venezuela the evening of Sunday, February 17, 2013. Agencia Fides is reporting the priest was attacked by a criminal gang at a traffic light. His body was found with a bullet wound to the head. Authorities believe this was a failed car jacking but the investigation continues.
Fr José Mendoza was the parish priest at San Juan Evangelista parish, in the Brisas District of El Obelisco in Venezuela.
The Archbishop of Barquisimeto, Archbishop Antonio José López Castillo, who went to the morgue to identify the body, said, “Fr. Mendoza was a man of prayer. Violence is never a way forward. They have taken the life of a minister of God. They have taken the life of an innocent man”.
Since the beginning of this year 2013, a total number of 4 priests have been killed in Latin America.